Click It or Ticket

As the State of Kansas moves into Phase two of the Governor’s plan to reopen, the City of El Dorado will begin aggressively enforcing Kansas occupant restraint and other traffic laws as part of the 2020 Kansas Click It or Ticket campaign.

The annual campaign begins on Monday, May 18th, and continues through Sunday, May 31st.  Travelers can expect increased police presence on city streets. 

This activity is supported by a grant from the Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT). Enforcement will occur around the clock. Seatbelt use diminishes after nightfall, meaning the likelihood of unbelted crash injuries and deaths rise during those hours.

El Dorado Police Chief Zieman wants everyone to stay safe as they start venturing out,  again.  “I want people in El Dorado to remember that when drivers don’t buckle up or require their passengers to buckle up, they are assuring themselves, their family, friends and others, that no circumstance will arise that will activate seat belts. In other words, there will be no deer, sleepiness, chemical impairment, kids fighting in the back seat, etc. in their vehicle or in the other vehicles they meet on the road.”

Zieman said, “I want people to know that, day or night, El Dorado Police Department is committed to aggressively ticketing violators of adult seat belt and child safety laws, as well as other traffic infractions, which make the need for occupant restraint so necessary. The stop will be inconvenient, your vehicle and driver’s license numbers will likely be checked for outstanding warrants and insurance, and you’ll pay at least $30 to the court. So, use your belt, every trip, every time.”

Zieman provided facts to educate drivers who may be unaware of the seat belt safety laws being enforced. 

FACT: If the driver of a vehicle is not belted, only about 20% of the front-outboard passengers are belted. Conversely, if the driver is belted that about 98% of the front-outboard passengers were observed to be belted. As for child passenger safety, Kansans ensure appropriate restraint with its youngest ones as children ages 0-4, are buckled into child safety

seats at the rate of 98%. However, only 87% of 5- to 14-year old’s are properly restrained. 

What this means to drivers: 1 out of 8 Kansas children, aged 5-14, are made vulnerable while traveling by the failure of their drivers to restrain them.  

“Drivers, please make the safe choice- every trip, every time.” Zieman said. 

The aim of Click It or Ticket is simple: to effectively reduce the number of preventable deaths and injuries that occur when unbelted drivers and passengers are involved in traffic crashes. About 345 persons are involved in 170 crashes each day in Kansas. Only 7% of those that are unbelted are likely to escape without injury. Half of all fatalities occur among those who are not wearing a seat belt. While seat belts may not always prevent a serious or fatal injury, certainly no other piece of equipment within the vehicle provides more protection.

Drivers will be met with strict enforcement of both the Kansas Safety Belt Use Act and the Kansas Child Passenger Safety Act. These statutes require that all vehicle occupants must be appropriately restrained. Law enforcement officers can stop vehicles and issue tickets when they observe occupants riding unrestrained or without proper restraint. Occupants,

ages 14 and over, are cited individually. If a passenger under the age of 14 is observed to be unrestrained the driver will be cited. The fine for an adult (18+) seat belt violation is $30. The fine for a youth (14-17) violation is $60, while the fine for a child (0-13) restraint violation is $60 plus a court cost charge of as much as $90.00.

Children under the age of four must be correctly secured in an approved child safety seat. Children four through seven must be securely belted into an approved booster seat. Once a child is taller than 4 feet 9 inches and/or weighs more than 80 pounds the booster seat may be removed. All children, ages eight through 13, must wear seat belts. In addition, Kansas law prohibits persons under the age of 14 from riding in any part of a vehicle not intended for carrying passengers, such as a pickup bed. For answers to child safety restraint questions and the location of the nearest safety seat fitting station, or safety seat technician, contact the Kansas Traffic Safety Resource Office at 1-800-416-2522, or visit

https://www.ktsro.org/resources.

Kansas’ overall adult seat belt compliance rate is 85% and ranges, by county, from 62% to 97%, with occupants in rural counties generally less likely to buckle up than those in urban counties. According to KDOT, this rural-urban difference in rates of buckling up is especially problematic because rural roadway conditions are often less forgiving than those in urban areas, and the consequences of driver misjudgment – such as unsafe speed and failure to buckle up – are likely to be more severe in the event of a crash. Almost two-thirds of Kansas’ fatality crashes occur on rural roadways while these roads account for only one-third of all crashes.

State Moves to Phase 1.5 of Reopening

With only a few days left in Phase One, many people have been wondering about the status of Governor Kelly’s reopening plan. 

On Thursday, May 14th, Kelly announced that the state will not remain in Phase One. And, it will not progress to Phase Two. Instead, Kelly added an intermediary step (Phase 1.5) that will last for at least the next two weeks.

This new phase goes into effect on Monday, May 18th and looks very similar to Phase One in that the mass gathering limit stays the same at no more than 10 people and many of the facilities and activities that were restricted in Phase One are still restricted in Phase 1.5. 

A few of the restrictions are being relaxed are:

Hair and nail salons, tattoo parlors, tanning salons and other personal service businesses can reopen with restrictions/modifications

Gyms can reopen for individual use (no fitness classes), but also with restrictions/modifications

Graduations can occur…. again, with restrictions/modifications

The online version of the plan has been updated with all of the new Phase 1.5 information:

Ad Astra: A Plan to Reopen Kansas

The governor’s office is also working on a new FAQ document to help answer the questions they are already getting

Can Do Attitude Needed

A ‘Can Do’ attitude helped to engage our nation during World War II when there was a shortage of workers to support the war effort. That same attitude is what is needed now to help support the frontline heroes battling coronavirus and COVID-19, the disease it causes.

The Marion County Emergency Management Director, Randy Frank, has created an initiative designed to do just.  In order to help him get his message out, he has called back into service an original “Rosie the Riveter” Virginia Ball of El Dorado, Kansas.  His goal with this campaign is to encourage all Kansans to practice safe social distancing and wear a protective mask while in public. 

“There is a plan in place, as established by Governor Kelly,  to help us carefully move back to our previous routines,” said Frank. 

Frank reached out to Ball, better known by her moniker “Rosie the Riveter,” to help lead the campaign for a safe and healthy transition.  

Randy Frank and Virginia Ball hope to encourage all Kansans to do their part to fight the spread of COVID-19.

As Kansas nears the end of Phase 1, and transitions into Phase 2 of the Governor’s plan to reopen the state, more restrictions will be lifted but Kansans need to be diligent in order to reach the goal of flattening the curve and preventing any further outbreaks.  

“Our biggest challenge is patience,” Ball said. “But Kansans have shown that they are willing to do what is necessary when times are tough.  Together, ‘We Can Do It!’” 

“I think the ‘Can Do’ attitude is in all of us. That attitude will help us as we move into our new normal,” said Ball.

Flyover Salute by “Doc”

Team McConnell performed a series of community flyovers for Operation America Strong on May 6, 2020.

The flight of two KC-135 Stratotankers and a KC-46 Pegasus from McConnell, followed closely by Wichita’s own B-29 Superfortress “Doc,” flew over local communities and hospitals to salute first responders, military members and essential personnel who are working on the frontlines to combat the coronavirus.

The flightpath brought the aircraft over Wichita, Derby, Newton, Andover, Garden Plain, Haysville and El Dorado, including 11 local hospitals.

First responders, healthcare workers and community members gathered on the lawn of Susan B. Allen Memorial Hospital, USD490 Performing Arts Center parking lot and a variety of locations along Central Avenue to watch the flyover and join Team McConnell in saluting our local heroes.

“We actually picked up on this information on social media,” said Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Director, Frank Williams.

“We noticed that McConnell Air Force Base had decided to do a flyover, so we rallied our troops,” said Williams.

“Our Public Information Officer Stewart Funk made contact and reached out to the other first responders and the hospital,” Williams said. “We came up here to congratulate everybody on a job well done and the hard work they’ve been doing and watch the flyover from the front lawn at the hospital.”

Williams also expressed his appreciation for everyone in Butler County, “We are really blessed because we have so much teamwork and collaboration between the hospital, law enforcement, fire department and EMS we are one big team battling one big event.”

“Team McConnell takes great pride in being part of this community,” said Col. Richard Tanner, 22nd Air Refueling Wing commander. “We are thrilled to have the opportunity to show our appreciation and solidarity to the thousands of heroes who are working tirelessly to battle COVID-19.”

The flyover salute is a total force effort between the 22nd ARW, the Air Force Reserve 931st Air Refueling Wing and the Kansas Air National Guard 184th Wing, all located on McConnell Air Force Base.

The flight also symbolizes over 70 years of aviation in the air capital of the world, featuring the Air Force’s newest tanker and the World War II heavy bomber.

“We are humbled and honored to join our nation’s warfighters at McConnell Air Force Base and be a part of Operation American Strong to salute those who have been battling the virus on the front lines, as well as to recognize those essential workers who have been keeping the grocery store shelves stocked, making deliveries and keeping our communities going during the pandemic,” said Josh Wells, Doc’s Friends, Inc., executive director and general manager.

The Air Force has extensively planned and implemented measures to ensure the force and individual units remain ready to carry out their respective missions. Air Force flyovers are conducted at no additional cost to the taxpayer and serve as training for pilots.

Mobile COVID-19 Testing Site 

At a time when COVID-19 testing is critical to the pandemic response, the State of Kansas is implementing drive-through testing sites to be available in communities across Kansas, to test first responders, healthcare providers whether or not they are exhibiting symptoms as well as anyone who may be exhibiting symptoms of the virus. 

Walmart has partnered with the State of Kansas in this initiative to set up several mobile COVID-19 testing sites. One of the five sites will be located in Butler County.  

The local site will be conducted at the El Dorado State Park, 1714 NE Shady Creek Access Rd, El Dorado, KS 67042.  Testing will be available, through appointment, on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays each week from 10am – 3pm, weather permitting. 

The official testing schedule launches Monday, May 4, 2020.  

Information on how to schedule an appointment:

Who: 

  • All first responders and healthcare providers and anyone who is exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19. 
  • For more information on testing eligibility, please see CDC guidelines: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/downloads/priority-testing-patients.pdf. 
  • Those who wish to be tested will be screened to ensure they meet CDC eligibility for testing. If individuals have difficulty scheduling an appointment, they can call 800-635-8611, or they can schedule an appointment on-site. The testing site is supported by Walmart, eTrueNorth and state and local officials. 

What: 

  • A mobile drive-through COVID-19 testing site open to all healthcare providers and first responders and anyone who is exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19, at no cost to the individual. 
  • All appointments will be drive-through observed with self-collection. 
  • To be tested, individuals must be in a car and have a scheduled appointment through eTrueNorth at www.DoINeedaCOVID19test.com
  • On-site scheduling will also be available. 

Where:

El Dorado State Park, 1714 NE Shady Creek Access Rd, El Dorado, KS 67042 

When: 

  • The official testing schedule launches Monday, May 4, 2020. 
  • Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays each week from 10am – 3pm, weather permitting. 
  • Please arrive no more than 10 minutes before your appointment time. 

What to bring/things to note: 

  • The testing site will require an appointment through eTrueNorth’s online site (www.DoINeedaCOVID19test.com). You will receive an appointment confirmation that you will need to have on hand when you arrive on-site. 
  • In addition, please make sure to bring your insurance card and valid photo ID for proof of identity. 
  • Those being tested will need to stay in their cars for verification of eligibility criteria, ID check and self-administered test. For the safety of all those on-site, the test site is not available to walk-ups; those being tested must be in a car. 
  • Individuals being tested will perform a self-administered nasal swab in their car with a healthcare provider observing them. Directions will be provided in the confirmation email after scheduling the appointment and on-site. 
  • It’s important to take care of yourself and monitor your symptoms closely. If your symptoms do not improve or you develop new or worsening symptoms, seek medical attention right away. Do not wait to receive your results. 

Results: 

  • Individuals will be able to access their results on http://www.DoINeedaCOVID19test.com. They will receive a text and/or email notification when their COVID-19 test results are available. 
  • Average turnaround time is approximately 24 to 48 hours from the day of collection. 
  • While individuals who are tested are awaiting results, please follow CDC guidelines and take steps to help prevent the disease from spreading to people in your home and community. 

If you have any questions regarding your scheduled appointment, please call 800-635-8611. 

 

 

Surprise Birthday Parade

Friends and family gathered for a surprise birthday parade in honor of Virginia Ball‘s 95th birthday.

Due to the stay home mandate, Ball has been home and relatively isolated from family and friends for six weeks. That changed on Sunday, April 26, 2020. 

Ball’s daughter, Georgann Anderson, told her they were going to the nursery to buy some flowers for Virginia‘s garden, as a birthday gift.

Virginia was dressed, with her face mask on, and sitting on her front porch preparing for her outing when police sirens went off and a couple of El Dorado Police Department cars rounded the corner leading a birthday procession.

Virginia was surprised and overcome with emotion as well wishers drove by, honking. 

They delivered flowers and balloons and large birthday yard signs.

Anderson had the idea and contacted her own daughter, Denise Barth Henggeler, who lives out of state.  Together, with the help of local friends, they organized the “Top Secret Birthday Parade“ online.  

Friends from across the country who were unable to participate in the parade showered Virginia with birthday cards while others sent video messages. 

Holding a large sign, Ball laughed when she said she has to tell the truth about her age, “I’m 95, I can’t lie.” 

Ball said her secret to longevity is to, “Stay busy. Don’t sit around and do nothing.”

The surprise birthday parade brightened her day and brought a smile to her face. She said the past couple of weeks had been hard on her. 

“It’s been terrible, I’ve been depressed, and I don’t get that way.” 

Easter Online

Maundy Thursday is the day celebrated by Christians to commemorate the Washing of the Feet and the Last Supper of Jesus Christ.  

On Maundy Thursday this year, I visited with Jordan Friesen, the Senior Pastor at El Dorado First Baptist Church to learn how they are adjusting Easter Week services in light of the mandated stay home order.

While Easter celebration will look different for everyone, there is an exceptionally poignant reality to Friesen‘s Easter celebration this year. 

In addition to celebrating his first Easter at El Dorado First Baptist Church, Friesen is celebrating his first Easter as a Pastor. 

Friesen’s wife, Mary, has family in Wichita but due to the stay home order, and increased spread of COVID-19 in Sedgwick County, they will not be gathering in person. 

“We are not able to see one another face-to-face,” Friesen began, “thankfully, with God’s good, sovereign timing and His good, sovereign plan, I have a background in video.” 

With a degree in communications media, Friesen and made small films prior to attending seminary.

“It’s been neat to be able to utilize those skills to help communicate with our congregation even though we’re not seeing each other face-to-face, at least we are able to see each other face-to-face at a computer screen.” Friesen said. 

Friesen, along with Associate Pastor Matt Click, has been putting those skills to good use by creating daily encouragement videos that are shared via the church’s Facebook page. 

In addition to the lighthearted, yet intentional daily videos designed to give a reprieve from the bombardment of news media, they are creating daily 5-10 minute videos during Holy Week to help the congregation prepare their hearts for the celebration of Easter.

The Holy Week vidéos will culminate in Live Stream services and will be performed on both Good Friday and Easter. Those services can be accessed by visiting the church website: https://www.edfbc.com